Vegas Golden Knights captain Mark Stone underwent back surgery for the second time in less than a year and will be out of the lineup indefinitely. This is a big blow to the team as he has 38 points in 43 games this season and is a major asset for the Vegas Golden Knights.
Stone had a lumbar discectomy in May that relieved pressure on his lower back, which has been an issue since his days with the Boston Bruins. The surgery was successful and the winger is expected to make a full recovery.
He will likely be out for a while but is still one of the best two-way wings in the NHL. He has 17 goals and 38 points in 43 games this season, averaging over 13 minutes of ice time.
Despite missing a number of games, he has been productive when on the ice with four points in three playoff games so far. He is on the third line and has been seeing plenty of ice time.
There is no timetable for his return as he continues to rehab from the back surgery, but it’s not out of the question that he could play in the Stanley Cup playoffs.
The Golden Knights placed Stone on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) before the trade deadline, creating an additional $9.5 million in cap space. That helped the team acquire forward Teddy Blueger and goalie Jonathan Quick prior to the deadline.
With a third-place finish in the Pacific Division, it will be important for the Golden Knights to have Stone on the ice as the postseason gets underway next week. He has played a key role on their power play this season, with 18 goals and 113 shots on goal.
He is also a top penalty killer with four majors this season. He is the fifth player in franchise history to record 20 or more goals, assists and penalties.
Stone is a big reason why the Golden Knights are on the right track to become the first Vegas franchise to win the Stanley Cup. He is a great two-way winger and has the ability to skate on all five lines when healthy.
In fact, his plus-12 rating at even strength is tied for the fourth-best on the team. He has four goals and seven points through the first three rounds of the playoffs.
During the first round against the Winnipeg Jets, he set up Chandler Stephenson for his opening goal 2:52 into the game. He is the kind of player that has always been a key part of Vegas’ success, and he will be a huge asset once he returns to the lineup.